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Summer Vacation is almost over- Time for a Pantry challenge!

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Well Labor Day is sneaking up on us quick- its back to school, back to routine, etc etc.

Well, we have been grilling etc all summer and out pantry is piled high with stuff.

Time for a challenge!!

Who is in??
post #2 of 54
I'll be watching, but we did our own challange last week out of neccesity and cleared everything out. And I mean everything! I was proud of myself that I was actually able to churn out a week and halfs worth of meals out of what little I had. I've got to say that my knowledge from these threads definatley helped.
post #3 of 54
I'm in! We don't have a lot of pantry stuff but I have so much stuff in the freezer. It's not going down in summer because we eat so much fresh produce and not much meat or other stuff. It's getting cool, though. Maybe we'll feel like eating all those meat and seafood I bought. (Got a huge freezer back in June and I got over-excited and stuffed it full.)
post #4 of 54
Thread Starter 
Fro me its part need and part want.

For want- I want to remember how those people near New Orleans and the area are and how they have nothing. So we need to use what we have and go from there. Any one of those people would love to have my pantry right now.

For need- this gas price hike could really kick our butts. When I say us I mean society and not just my family. But we will be taking less trips to the grocery etc so I need to use what I have.

I am also feeding my freezer this week. We are double batching everything so if need be- we have everything on hand.

But most of all I started this early in the year and it really makes a difference in our family's money manners. We have no debt except for our mortgage and we like it that way.
post #5 of 54
Ok, I'm in!

I fell off the wagon when dd started eating solids a couple of months ago and I have been spending waaaayyyy too much on food!!

So, I'm going to work on eating out of my freezer b/c I have so much piling up in there.

First on the agenda:

I have a HUGE turkey that my mom gave me in December. Is it still good? How do I cook it? I mean, I've really NEVER cooked a turkey before. What's the best way to defrost it? Anyone have any great recipes for turkey meat? Thanks so much for any tips.
post #6 of 54
Huge, like 20 pounds or more? You'll want to defrost it in the fridge for probably 4-5 days if it's over 20 pounds. I've found the easiest way to cook a turkey is in those oven bags they sell and since I do it so rarely I don't feel too bad using the plastic bag. I'm sure you can find directions for just doing it in a roasting pan with foil if you search online. My favorite way to season a turkey is to mix olive oil, rosemary and thyme and rub it into the skin and under the skin. Just use your hand to loosen the skin and rub in lots of the mix. Then I make a sage seasoned stuffing that is so yummy. The rosemary, thyme and sage are so tasty together. Now I'm ready for Thanksgiving!

As full as my cupboards are I don't think it will be much of a challenge right now, but I'm in. Does anyone have a good white/garlic sauce recipe for pizza? I made some pizza dough and it's in the fridge waiting to be made up, but since we ate pizza at some friends' house last night I don't think we'll be wanting pizza with red sauce this week.
post #7 of 54
I never defrost a turkey in the fridge because it takes a LONGGGGGG time. I do it in the sink overnight or a little longer.

Turkey IMO doesntr last long in a freezer for some reason.

Remember turkey broth is
post #8 of 54
White/Garlic sauce:

3T flour mixed with a cup of milk and minced garlic..Cook slowly over the stove top until it thickens about 1o minutes..
post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 
beat me to the garlic sauce recipe!!

also try:

chicken ceasar pizza or ceasar pizza if veggie

Grilled chicken breast
grated parmasiono
ceasar dressing

top on your dough and bake. Serve w romaine lettuce salad.

this is a big hit with my teenage nephew who does not like "red pizzas". I made it over the thanksgiving/xmas holidays when he was visiting. He then called me long distance 2 mos later for the recipe. He was making it for his buddies and needed help. His mom (my sil) later told me he really talked it up so they all wanted it for their card playing night.
I consider that the ulitmate compliment when a child/teen calls for the recipe.
post #10 of 54
Thread Starter 
So far- we had BLTs for dinner. Tomatoes coming out of our ears from our garden so we come up w different meals centered around tomatoes.
Also had gazpacho soup from garden veggies.

I have to make up a sauce from the tomatos this week and then can. That will add to the pantry for the winter. Usually I run out of garden sauce around april or may.
post #11 of 54
I will be watching this thread too! I am still working on using everything in my pantry. Also, I just joined a CSA program and should get my first box of produce next week. can't wait!

post #12 of 54
I'm in. I'm discovering all sorts of things in the cupboard. I have some tapioca pearl, so I've been making bubble tea/chocolate milk. And I found some asian snack-y type things, so I'm munching on those at work.

DH does most of the cooking, so my pantry challenge is mostly limited to snacks and work lunches. But I would love to free up some of the space and get rid of the random items.

There is some canned pumpkin - perhaps that can become muffins next week.
post #13 of 54
im gonna try this, but just for a week at first to see how it works for me. if i do good, maybe i'll go longer next time
post #14 of 54
Hmm, not doing so good so far. It's P's birthday party this weekend so I already bought all sorts of stuff. At least I'm planning to use the stuff I already have as much as possible.
post #15 of 54
Thread Starter 
I picked out two cans of tuna for lunches tomorrow. Also, I have some beans that I will make into refried beans for a neat little dip.

I am only buying things like dairy and fruit since we go thru it pretty quick in this house.
post #16 of 54
Well I went to the grocery store today for fresh produce and ended up making a white pizza for dinner. It was really good, but the only things I used up in my "pantry" were the dough which I made a few days ago and didn't use all of, the onions, and the butter/olive oil/basil/wine. Ok, typing it out makes it look like I used more than it seemed like while I was cooking. Thanks for all of the white sauce recipes, btw!
post #17 of 54
For lunch today I made wraps - Spinach tortilla (last 2 in package) with leftover rice, stray tomatoes and 1/2 an avacodo that was destined to languish in the fridge.

My husband made some chicken & rice dish last night. The chicken was from the deep freeze stash, but I don't think anything else was from the pantry. If we don't finish up the shredded chicken tonight, I'm going to pop it into some plain tortillas, maybe with beans or rice, and put those in the fridge for future lunches.
post #18 of 54
i made lima beans in the crockpot froma bag of dried limas ive had for ever.... they were super yummy with cornbread
post #19 of 54

I've started by cleaning out my freezer

I have a bunch of flour that I don't have plans for yet, but will soon:

mystery flour
spelt flour
whole wheat flour
corn flour

And lots of wheat berries.

Got rid of some mystery food, in there, and going through the frozen blueberries: blueberry muffins, smoothies. . . .

In my freezer:
Sofrito (used for puerto-rican beans) I've made, actually husband made beans once a week for the past 2 weeks.

I could go another month on the amount of sofrito we have, though I need to buy more beans. I've got some beans, lentils, barley to use up, I kept buying them at like, .69 cents a bag, which is really cheap around here, at Dags, no less. . . ..

As for the pantry, I've organized my tomatoes by type. So I'm in!
post #20 of 54
I would lilke to join in!

We are really trying to make major budget cuts and cooking even more from scratch and using what we have should make great strides towards that. One of my goals in the near future is to get over my fear of dried beans - we eat lots of beans and buy them on sale only but even on sale canned beans are much more expensive than on sale dried beans! I am also planning on trying my hand at tortilla making!
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